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tv   [untitled]    July 24, 2010 1:31pm-2:01pm PST

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with maintaining accreditation. as you had indicated earlier with the deputy, our original intent in last year's easter bond was to attempt to locate a facility that would be appropriate and earthquake safe for both laboratories over a period of time. we would then look at this energy that they would make, working directly on the civilian side of the crime lab. as we decided to remove that from of all, we have not had
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further discussions. i wanted to let you know that the initial part of this, we understand that the crime lab to the police department has, a number of divisions. drug, evidence, dna, a fingerprint division, ballistics division, property room. all of those different divisions that the investigators have to do, which is why for the last couple weeks this has been such a difficult objective for us to understand in terms of local details, as it is not just putting these board tories together. it is not simply making sure that chain of evidence is respected. we are at a point where we are very -- we would require a lot
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of study on this, already planning to do is clearly in the next few months. it would take a lot of effort on our part to work with the police department and the the current overseers of the crime lab. i spoke to the chief last week and he indicated that it was going in a different direction. supervisor chiusupervisor mirka: appreciated. i agree that the operational aspect would be further down the road than originally contemplated, but i would like to supplicate the energy of that instruction, bred a gated on the synergy -- predicated on the synergy of be edifice of the crime lab being in the same play, as before were in the june
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election bond that did not wind up going forward. >> yes. supervisor mirkarimi: so, the question that now comes to mind here in the hearings is about the governance. i do not think it would force this upon you without proper resources and protocol so that your office would be able to help facilitate. you are right, it is a complex relationship that would have to be co design. -- designed. thank you for your testimony. i have no further questions. supervisor chiu: let's hear from members of the public that wish to speak on this topic.
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supervisor mirkarimi: [reads na mes] >> much of what was said here today i would recommend. having a laboratory being removed from the police department and put under the city administrators office. obviously one of the reasons is the document from the national academy of sciences. the laboratory is not only under the police department now, but being directly supervised by officers. that is a recommended was not a good practice. to the point where it needs to be reset.
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if he wanted a bond issue passed by the public, it would be required by the board of supervisors and other people do what is needed to show that we have seen the problem and it is not business as usual going forward in a new way. the crime scene investigation unit, they would not be leaving the police department as far as i know. the laboratory is a separate entity and integral to the department. [tone] supervisor mirkarimi: just to clarify, i think that that statement was made earlier. what other aspects of the law of oratory would not actually be part of that final laboratory?
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>> friends service is composed of many units -- forensic service is composed of many units, but the only transfer would take place outside of the police department's. i do not think that anyone in visions seeing this transferred. supervisor mirkarimi: you would recommend it not being part of the coup -- discussion here? >> crime scene investigation is basically a rapid response force that requires peace officer status. supervisor chisupervisor mirkarn they discussed as of elements not moving towards the independence of the discussion and what it leads up to.
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>> when you talk about laboratories outside of the enforcement jurisdiction, they all have aspects of law enforcement. sacramento county is under the district attorney's office, actually. supervisor mirkarimi: used to be more than just ahead of the local crime lab. can you tell us? >> i worked at the police department for 18 years, managing the crime laboratory for eight years, director of the funding -- of defense's services for 10 years. retired now and in private practice. supervisor mirkarimi: when did you leave? >> 2004. supervisor mirkarimi: not long before some of the concerns we are recalling backwards, if miss madden and discrepancies of
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malfeasance are approved, correct? >> yes. supervisor mirkarimi: does that impinge on your credit -- credibility? >> i do not think so. when we left -- when i left we were just at the point of getting accredited. it is quite nice, i helped to develop -- designed the facility. it was not designed to be used for many years, but as a place that was much better than the prior laboratory and that eventually in due time there would be a dedicated facility constructed. supervisor mirkarimi: what would you say is the condition of the building out? >> i am not allowed to go to building 606, but i have talked to people that worked there and the physical plant is superi deteriorating. there were management failures
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in the management of the crime lab, as well as the effects of time. this contributed to a rapid facility to climb. supervisor mirkarimi: what would you say that this scandal has done to expert testimony in san francisco? >> it has had a big effect. i have seen a reluctance of district attorneys on the trial level. this is not a policy, but individual attorneys that do not want to call anyone from the police department crime laboratory. making a very easy for the defense in many cases. but it is not the way the thing should be. because of the reputation they do not want to put someone in front of a jury who says that they are from the laboratory in the newspapers all the time. supervisor chisupervisor mirkarl
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that making the crime lab independent would help its reputation? >> yes. many smaller jurisdictions are paying huge amounts of money to support very sophisticated pieces of equipment that they do not have the money to purchase any more. you could have a regional facility here and the city would wind up making money. that has happened in other jurisdictions where they wind up charging a fee for service. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. i appreciate that. colleagues? thank you very much for your help. >> it is clear that our major
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structural problems are played out and to fix these problems we need capabilities where we work together to develop comprehensive plans but achieve competently managed state of the dark crime labs to provide scientific we based factual evidence that helps to convict the guilty and convict -- convicted a guilty and free the innocent. -- convict the guilty and free the innocent. staffing as far as low national standards and working conditions have early deteriorated over the last few years, 25 yards away from the entrance in 2009 there was vandalism related to
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cleanup and vandalism with water that is not even potable. recent protection calls for more street lighting in the parking area of. the union representatives have suffered flat tires and broken windshields from going out there. cars have been broken into, which could prove volatile and dangerous. this is a thing that we need to fix and the many agencies in the city need to work together to come up with a well-researched plan envisioned for where the crime lab to take us in the future. i do have some recommendations if you would like to hear them. please. supervisor mirkarimi: please. >> is currently open and
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operating with criminals working on the cases -- with criminals being processed through cases as we speak. it has accreditation for the future, but it cannot sustain a life as it is currently being run. we recommend keeping the laboratory opened within the city, thinking about privatization as the entire function, it would be a disaster. all major cities and counties in the nation do their primary crime lab work within the city. we need to work together to come up with a facility that meets the needs so that the laboratory and the full service. we need to pay sufficient attention and give support from whomever is managing the laboratory to move forward with ongoing projects, creating a stable and manageable staffing level with a dedicated and
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prominent crime lab manager. we need a permanent forensic services director and a comprehensive plan for a facility that includes how it is managed, what the practices of our, and what the best scientific models around the country are. people need to remember that the crime lab is science being used to back up police work and they will figure out the best way to do that in the future and it makes sense for all people involved. supervisor mirkarimi: back to the comptroller's report, the local 21 put out its own analysis a few weeks ago about the prospect of this work being outsourced and privatize and that you had a difference of opinion from the comptroller's report. would you care to elaborate on that perspective?
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>> if you ask to that office again, they will admit that they needed to provide better levels. we think that there will be a significant increase in costs that the lab is outsourced, having to pay for sessions and testing, paying for testimony time, which is where the expense would go up high. right now we are talking about reducing the number of cases based on presumptive testing. i do not know if it will work into the future. cutting the number of cases depends on the abdication of presumptive testing. i do not know if that is a safe assumption. in the controller's report it was based on helping san
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francisco over the last two months from public laboratories. over the last two months they have helped to lull the situation, so i do not think of those are accurate numbers done by favor in a publicly run laboratory. you would probably have to be looking at the one lab that could take up the work being a private lab in the area. they charge per specimen and for our. -- per ouhour. supervisor mirkarimi: 4000 cases each year based on the new model, with 50 going to trial,
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that would be the new number to look at. do you think of that is realistic? >> this program has not been in place long enough to have a good decision made based on it. making a long-term decision to shut down a public service that every other city and county in the nation does based on a program that arose out of the scandal is really a quick jump to judgment. supervisor mirkarimi: your union represents many of the criminals. do you have any opinion on the question of whether we should go as attended when it regards the national academy of science report? >> actually, we have no opinion yet. we are interested in coming up with the best model that meets
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the scientific needs and public safety needs of san francisco. there should be some kind of task force or consortium working on that. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you, ms. carter. i have no other speaker cards. whoever would like to make a public comment, please do. >> good afternoon, public safety commission. i am walter paulson. ♪ i remember finding evidence there and every day i hold that you really do care looking out of my lonely crime lab day after
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day bring the evidence may be making it soon then i will discover new things for me soon i remember finding out about those crimes there and i hope that with evidence you all will be there looking out of my lonely lab day after day bring the evidence and transfer it to the city administrator make it soon then i will discover new things in new things i remember finding finding out about crime
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and you would be surprised at all of the things that you might find. looking out of the laboratory, day after day. ♪ [tone] supervisor chiu: are there any other members of the public that wish to speak? seeing no one, public comment is closed. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you for your diligence on this, colleagues. i appreciate the consistency and the diligence of the department on this, as well as our chief city administrator. i appreciate the local 21 and others who have weighed in.
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i agree that this is a complex issue. old habits are hard to change. i know that this ordinance might sort of rocket that particular change where many departments might feel bad. it could be premature. what i am willing to do on this, heeding the call from various people who have contributed to day in their comments, continuing this legislation to the call of the chair. what i might do is supplants it with something that unites the entities together so that we can have a little more focus, questions about those for the killer next steps. i would like to do so as a companion piece with the notion that we will return to the idea of putting a bond before the voters so that we will have
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building that houses the medical examiner and the crime lab, by itself helping to stimulate the discussion as to how it would be managed and the governed the. i was sorry to see the that did not come to life before the voters, but for reason it did not. that does not mean that we should retreat from the discussion. i would like to leave with that plan. that is our role. police analysis, controllers in current and future operations that meet expanding.
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lab at some point be placed in front of the voters, so i would support a supervisor mirkarimi's desire for us to look at this question in a hard way and consider reform. it is clear that reform is necessary. the crime lab scandal speaks for itself. from my perspective, i think there was likely criminal behavior within certain staff of the crime lab, and there were certainly some managers that were asleep at the switch, but i am -- i appreciate the new management, the san francisco police department is moving forward to quickly address the issues that we have. i think the questions raised today were important ones. obviously, we have heard from the police and army that the vast majority of police departments do manage their own crime lab, and we have heard
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from the city administrator that there are concerns with specifically making the type of move that we were contemplating today, but i think the larger question of what we do at the crime lab is still one that is open for significant discussion, and i would very much like for all of the various stakeholders, both inside city government, inside law enforcement, and outside the city government, to work together to figure out what the future of the crime lab is going to be. so i would support that we move this at the call of the chair. colleagues, any further conversations on this? why don't we do that? without objection, i continue this item to the call of the chair. with that, why don't we move to the next item, item seven. >> item 7, ordinance amending the san francisco administrative code by adding sections 30.30 through sections 30.35 to establish public safety and public health training programs for san francisco unified school district high-school programs. supervisor chiu: this item was
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also brought to us by our colleague, supervisor mirkarimi. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. from the debate that occurred over the last several years about the fate thejrotc in the unified -- the fate of jrotc in the unified school district system and how that was a type of extracurricular service that prepared our youth, whether they wanted a career in the military or decided just to want to use those particular experiences and apply it to something else. the question has been dead as why do we not have similar type of academies that unite the interests of our hiring practices in the san francisco city and county, police, fire, sheriff's department, public safety, and with the school
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district and city college. there has been ad hoc programs that have been implemented over the years, but no program exists today that brings together the city and county, san francisco school district, and city college, that actually helps with and assuring of us being able to provide and facilitate the interests of high school students who would like to me to pursue a career in the police apartment or in the fire department, public safety, and who would like to seek out what those experiences might look like while they are in high school. what the ordinance does is help solidify some of the work that has been ongoing, but it has been ongoing in a way that is not institutionalized, in a way that i think we should. right now, recruitment at the police department for people outside san francisco is at an
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all-time high at about 76% of recruits coming into sfpd not living in san francisco or come from san francisco. it is almost as high with the fire department. when we look at the relationship, i think, between recruitment to our public safety sectors, and ask why there is not more, i think, hunting and recruiting of people locally, the answers are, i think, we would love to do so, but there's not much of a focused strategy to make that happen. unfortunately, as of the national downturn economically, we have now seen that the unemployment rate for 16 to 19 year-old literally is over 40%, the highest since world war ii. that is pretty much minute here in the city and county of san francisco. we also know that 1000 police
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officers and 500 firefighters will be retiring or could be retiring within the next five years. we would like to see -- there to be some strategy in place that helps, i think, replete the number of personnel that we may be losing, but also benefits in the fact that these are san franciscans who would really like to work for the city and county of san francisco, who know the communities in which they would serve, and i think the long-term employees of the city, where they would be developing relationships that we all could, i think, benefit from. this legislation would also go before the school district, too, like other pieces of law that we have devised that had joint partnerships. there will be weighing in of those entities as well. ideally, what could happen is one example is it we had an
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academy in the san francisco unified school district or the police, similar to their police activities league, their pals, the debt program, but it would actually be part of the unified school district where it could earn some credit, and as people who have earned credit may want to go on to city college where they have a well-known criminal justice program and burn their -- earn their aa and perhaps after that pursue a career in the police the bombing, that they would have to pass muster of all the clearances, psychological tasks, -- a career in the police department, that they would have to pass muster of all the clearances. that would then give them a leg up potentially, to somebody who has endeavored through high school and then through city college or whatever other secondary education they may have, post-secondary, in order to get in, that speaks loudly
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that this